THE NICE GUYS:
A THRILLING ACTION-COMEDY THAT’S NICE AND MEAN!
By Nico Beland
Movie Review: A+ (4 stars)
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Russell Crowe (left) and Ryan Gosling (right) are The Nice Guys
From director, Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3) comes a neo-noir buddy cop comedy starring two of my favorite actors of all time, Russell Crowe (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, Noah) and Ryan Gosling (Lars and the Real Girl, Drive, The Ides of March), The Nice Guys. When I first saw the trailers for it I thought it looked very funny but nothing special but when the 90% Rotten Tomatoes score appeared and the film receiving widespread critical acclaim, I was very excited to finally sit down and watch it.
And, it was flat out hilarious, yes it delivers what you’d expect from any buddy cop comedy, wacky situations, shootouts, over the top violence that can be funny at times, stereotypical characters, to name a few, but the film manages to be smart and pulls off a well-executed caper, while still being funny and thrilling. A lot of people forget you can do really silly and goofy action comedies in smart and clever ways, the goofiness doesn’t overshadow the wit and intelligence, and vice versa.
The film follows down-on-his-luck private eye investigator, Holland March (Gosling) joining forces with hired enforcer, Jackson Healy (Crowe) to solve the case that can put an end to all their problems. A porn star named Amelia Kutner (Margaret Qualley-Palo Alto, The Leftovers) has gone missing and an apparent suicide of fading porn star, Misty Mountains (Murielle Telio-Eastbound & Down, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Red Oaks).
Holland and Jackson get recruited by Amelia’s mother, Judith Kutner (Kim Basinger-Batman, Wayne’s World 2, L.A. Confidential) to find Amelia. However, during their investigation, they eventually uncover a criminal conspiracy that reaches up to the highest circles of power.
The film also stars Angourie Rice (These Final Hours, Walking with Dinosaurs, Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows) as Holland’s daughter, Holly, Matt Bomer (Flightplan, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Magic Mike) as John Boy, Beau Knapp (Super 8, Southpaw, The Gift) as Blue Face and Hannibal Buress (The Kings of Summer, Neighbors, The Angry Birds Movie) as Bumble.
Overall, The Nice Guys is one of those buddy cop comedies that knows the meaning of fun, the film takes full advantage of the comedic possibilities of its premise and even makes funny new takes on old cop movie clichés, all leading to big laughs. I may have laughed harder watching this than Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising the other night, probably because of the bizarrely likable chemistry between Gosling and Crowe.
Russell Crowe as the bad cop and Ryan Gosling as the good cop, the comedy and chemistry practically writes itself and they’re pretty much the highlight of the film. But it doesn’t shy away from developing them well and having time for drama and intense action.
I always find it surreal every time I see Kim Basinger in a movie these days because not going to lie but the first thing that pops into my head whenever her name shows up in a movie I immediately think of Vicki Vale from Tim Burton’s Batman, can you really blame me? But as always she does a solid job as Amelia’s mother who may or may not be an antagonist.
The cinematography, set design, and overall style of the film is very 1970s, I almost felt like I went back in time from 2016 to the 70s. The cars, buildings, product placements, lighting, even camera work feels like I was watching a movie released in the 70s.
Of course Shane Black is the right man to direct this film, he wrote the script for Lethal Weapon, he directed the 2005 neo-noir crime comedy, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and need we forget Iron Man 3? This is a director that knows how to direct a film and the end result is usually positive feedback and/or praise, the entire movie screams Shane Black.
If you want to see different types of Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling performances but also non-stop laughs and action, you’ll love The Nice Guys, it’s a “Nice” comedy with a “Mean” punch.